Sony to the fore as media industry transitions to IP live production

The media industry is taking a major leap towards an IP-centric future as growing market demand converges with rapid acceleration in standards, protocol and interoperability.

Sony’s broadcast customers are increasingly embracing IP for its proven ability to deliver quality live HD and 4K video, audio and synchronisation signals through a single network cable and have identified IP Live Production infrastructure in their top areas of commercial importance for the coming years.

In the past 12 months alone, industry powerhouses the BBC, TPC, TV Globo, Sky Perfect, JSAT Corporation, NEP Australia and CCTV have joined an already impressive raft of global broadcasters and facilities companies migrating to and reaping the benefits of an IP-enabled operation. Sony has strengthened its commitment to partnering with customers to facilitate an IP-centric future, delivering more than 31 Live IP Projects globally.

Interoperability, open standards and a robust technology platform represent major catalysts for the industry migration to IP. According to Devoncroft’s 2017 Big Broadcast Survey Global Trend Index, broadcasters identified Open Ecosystems (over Single Vendor Ecosystems) and comprehensive technology and product portfolios amongst the most important drivers for upgrading their infrastructures to IP.

“We’re privileged to have been able to positively shape the IP landscape by working hand-in-hand with the industry on open IP standards and protocols. With customers increasingly seeking not only superb technology and future-proofed solutions but trusted partners, open standards and outstanding services that will help them prepare for an IP driven future, 2018 looks set to be a pivotal year in the evolution of IP,” concluded Norbert Paquet, Head of Product Management, Sony Professional Solutions Europe.

Sony believes simply using IP for transport isn’t enough to make a live production system a more efficient and practical approach than SDI. In order to realise the full benefits of IP the systems need to have additional intelligence built in – intelligence derived from collaborating with the industry to drive new levels of interoperability and open standards.

As a member of the IP Alliance which now boasts over 60 manufacturers and a principal member of the Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA), Sony has invested heavily in contributing to the development, adoption, standardisation and refinement of the Networked Media Open Specifications (NMOS-04/05) and continue its active participation in developing NMOS IS-06.

“IP is the present and future of live production,” declared Paquet. “Today we’re amid a massive migration where every big project, every new studio, every new truck, every application is now making use of IP, or has IP at its core. The rapid acceleration in customer adoption over the past year alone shows the market is quickly gearing up for an IP driven future and our job is to help them best untap its potential as a strategic and operational enabler.”

Costs saving and robust and flexible technologies: BBC Studioworks chose to future-proof its newly refurbished Television Centre with investment in Sony 4K over IP, selecting Sony’s technology for the all-in-one solutions package it offered combined with its open standards approach. “Our mission is to provide competitively priced studios with the most robust and flexible technologies that our customers require. We’re confident that the technology we’ve chosen in combination with the location, staffing and broader customer experience will help make Television Centre the best place to make television in the UK’’, said Meryl McLaren, Commercial Manager, BBC Studioworks

Interoperability with SMPTE ST 2110: For its unique IP-based remote production facility, NEP Australia chose Sony HDC-4300 cameras, XVS-6000 and XVS-8000, all SMPTE ST 2110 ready, as well as a wide range of Sony OLED and LCD monitors. The flexibility of the XVS series of switchers allow them to be utilised in HD, 4K, SDI or IP-based environments.

Flexibility in simultaneous broadcasting: Technology and Production Centre Switzerland also put its trust in Sony’s technology quality and innovation when building and equipping one of the world’s first OB vans for IP-based Ultra High Definition (UHD) Live Production. The technical services provider purchased a combination of HDC- 4300 cameras and high-end 4K IP XVS video switchers to help realise its ambition of providing customers with the latest technology standards including 4K and HDR. The resulting OB unit is UHD and HDR capable and is completely IP-based, operating using uncompressed SMPTE ST2110.

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